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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

a social moderate?

After our bible study yesterday, my brother Andy and I were talking about my (lack of) political ideology. A young lady who had been at the bible study commented that there must be some kind of quiz I could do, that would show me what my political stance was. Facebook should have it. With a few clicks Andy had the Political Spectrum site up on Mum's laptop, and was asking me the first of sixty questions. Sixty was pretty daunting but the questions were really thought - provoking, and a lot of them were about concepts I hadn't thought through before.

Before I got through the quiz I was pretty convinced that I was a strong conservative - at least, that seemed the most likely ideology to fit my ideas. But this is what the quiz came up with:

My Political Views
I am a right social moderate
Right: 4.15, Libertarian: 0.8

Political Spectrum Quiz

Well, I've never heard of a 'Social Moderate' before! It sounds sort of Socialist, except for the 'Right' part. I also surprised myself with my leaning towards libertarianism - where did that come from?
At least I know now where I am on the political spectrum, but that doesn't make deciding what I really believe about difficult issues much easier. It just seems to give me something to tell people if they ask me where I am politically - but would they understand what I meant if I did tell them? I mean, whoever heard of a Right Social Moderate anyway?

I'm keen to know what other people's political ideology is, and why they hold it. Is it something you take to it's obvious extreme so that you're being consistent, or do you stop somewhere along the line?
I'm trying to understand whether you should take something you completely agree with to it's logical conclusion, in order to be consistent, or whether you should stop somewhere. If you don't completely agree with it, should you believe it?


Blogger Simeon said...

I did the quiz over here

As to taking your ideology to a consistent extreme, I disagree. I believe that you should have a good idea of what you believe and what is right and wrong, but that you should be able to also take each issue at a time.

For example I don't think the government should be interfering in peoples lives, but in certain cases they should like when drugs are involved.

So to put it simply, I disagree with being ideologically driven. I would rather be driven by principles which could be different in certain cases.

10:22 am  
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Hi Lyd, be sure to add a comment to Scrubone's political spectrum page with your coordinates, and he'll add you to the grid.

Simeon, what about being driven by an ideology of principles?

You know, Coffee is a drug, so if we go on the principle that the Government should step in when drugs are involved, then they must step in not only when the drug is marijuana, but also when it is coffee.

10:50 am  
Blogger Simeon said...

Andy, I don't want to have a debate about drugs. What I am saying is that I don't think taking an Ideology to its Consistent end is wise in all circumstances.

11:46 am  
Blogger Lydz said...

Thanks for the comments, Simeon and Andy.

hmm. You gave me plenty to think about Simeon - I especially like your last comment. I'm not sure whether I agree with it though, because often when you aren't being consistent to your principles/ideology on certain issues, you are putting what you actually believe under suspicion. When you agree with the Govt. interfering in some cases but not in others, it is difficult to know how to back that up - where exactly you should draw the line. You know?
Not being consistent leads to some pretty shonky beliefs sometimes.

Andy, your ideology is more consistent than Simeon's, I think. That doesn't make it more true though! Legislating on coffee is a good example.. but like I said on your marijuana post, the purpose of it should be questioned.

2:00 pm  
Blogger Simeon said...

What I am trying to say is that I would rather have a bunch of principles rather than an ideology which I based my decision on.

It may not sound as consistent as Andy who tries to follow an ideology, but I believe that it is.

I do not agree that it could put my beliefs under suspicion. If I am following my principles in my decision making rather than an ideology then people will know why i decide something.

The problem arises though when I decide to change my principles.

Therefore I do believe in consistency. A consistent set of principles. The same goes for ideology. You have to consistently follow the ideology that you believe. You cannot change it to fit a different situation.

Of course I don't think principles or ideology taken to their consistent end is wise.

9:12 am  
Blogger Lydz said...

That's a very persuasive argument. I admit, I like the idea of being principle - driven, rather than ideologically - driven.. it seems like you could be more true to what you believe Biblically as well.

The consistent extreme of Libertarianism seems to be to pursue your own goals at any cost except other people's. That seems pretty selfish..

Think Atlas Shrugged.. the intelligentsia in the book are all for doing away with self - sacrifice, under the belief that if they were to submit graciously to the controlling government, they would be condoning the govt. by that action. But that's really against what we've been taught biblically..
That's part of the basis of Libertarianism. I would be inclined to believe it's better to find an ideology that fits your principles, like you said, but stick to your principles rather than your ideology..

6:34 pm  
Blogger Simeon said...

Yup, good points.

Ultimately all ideology's are flawed by mans sinfulness. Therefore best to base our decisions on the bible as best we can I reckon.

8:43 pm  

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